Can academic and clinical journals be in financial conflict of interest situations? The case of evidence-based incorporated

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Abstract

The hypothesis is advanced that scholarly journals can find themselves in conflict of interest positions when they operate business strategies which for commercial reasons may militate against the publication of articles which question the usefulness of the products being sold. It is suggested on the basis of probabilistic reasoning that the more extensive the merchandizing and the greater the commercial profits, the greater is the potential for conflict of interest. The alternative hypothesis is advanced that such a conflict of interest position cannot possibly exist. The current Hypothesis paper is published in order to stimulate debate on the subject of study. The reader is referred to the Editor's Note p. 395.

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